Let’s get real. It’s tough living on one income in 2019 when you have kids. Having three kids that constantly need things can sometimes seem overwhelming!
That is why I had to start living on a budget. And when I say “on a budget”, it doesn’t mean living cheap. I am just more conscious of where my money is coming from and going.
Having a clear, solid budget is so important when you are a single parent. Many of us are living paycheck to paycheck, so frivolous spending isn’t an option when you want to live a good life and make sure your family is well taken care of.
Here are a few simple budgeting tips for single moms who want to ensure your are living your best life!
Create a Monthly and Annual Budget
So first things first, you need a budget in place. I have both an annual and monthly budget of expenses. Having an annual budget is great because there are some things like taxes and car insurance that I don’t pay every month.
I use Google sheets to create both my budgets in so that it’s easy to access from anywhere. You can also share your budget with others if need be. My parents help me stay focused so I do share my annual budget with my dad.
End of the year is a great time to put your budget together, but anytime is a great start. Look at your bills and any other expenses such as gas and clothes to get an idea of what you’ve spent and what you want to spend going forward. This is a real eye opener too if you haven’t really kept track of your spending before.
Make Shopping Lists and Stick to Them
This is key for me. I make lists for my groceries and other household items but I also make lists for personal shopping for myself and the kids. I choose what stores I need to go to and go just for what is on the list. I even tell my kids, “if it’s not on the list, we are not buying it!”
This will prevent you from making random impulse buys that weren’t necessary (stay out of the Target dollar spot!). You can budget for miscellaneous items and pull from that budget if you are to make purchases like that. But why waste it? Most of the time, you really, really don’t need those things.
Make Meals That Last
A lot of my money used to be spent eating out. Not anymore. We eat out every now and then but it’s not nearly as often. My tip is to make meals that last awhile like spaghetti or any type of pasta dish or a large roast in the crockpot for example.
Create delicious meals that you can eat for a two or more days. I also suggest easy freezer meals like these:
Whether it’s using coupons or buying clothing during off seasons, shopping smart will help you save tons of money. I love a good name brand bag (it’s like my obsession), so I shop Nordstorm Rack sales versus buying things at regular price. I buy Christmas gifts early instead of waiting until the last minute. These are just a few things you can do to change the way you shop.
Have Goals Set
My major budgeting tip is to set some financial goals. That way you will think twice about the way you spend money. Whether it is to pay down debt or to take your kids on a vacation, set some big goals and be sure to keep it posted where you can see it every day. This will help you refrain when it comes to unnecessary spending!
What other tips can you share about budgeting? What are your financial goals this year?